A company that produces air conditioning units has been fined after an employee sliced off the tip of his finger while using a circular saw.
The Health and Safety Executive’s subsequent investigation found a catalogue of errors that resulted in prosecution for the offending employer:
• The top guard of the saw was incorrectly positioned
• Protection devices were not being used
• An emergency stop control button on the circular saw did not work
• Braking on the machine was ineffective, meaning the saw blade would continue to rotate after it should have stopped
• The risk assessment carried out by the company was not comprehensive and did not cover all of the activities the saw was being used for
• It was also found that workers operating the machinery had not received instructions, health and safety training, or information about the saw and how to operate it safely. They were also working unsupervised.
Luckily, doctors were able to repair the man’s finger, but the incident has had repercussions for his employer who was prosecuted for breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay more than £4,000 costs.